Front Cover of Manplan 1: Frustration

MANPLAN 1: FRUSTRATION

Manplan 1 set the tone for the series whereby Patrick Ward photographed and recorded one month of British frustration, that of congestion, queues, poverty, boredom, protests, inadequate buildings and damage to both the built and natural landscape. Subsequent editions intended to propose solutions to issues such as: what responsibility have architects for the environmental crisis? Is modern life isolating us? How do we prepare for the huge increase in the elderly? Is current housing policy sound? Is technology good or bad for us or even turning us into robots? What impact does the paralysis of decision making, particularly by government, have? Hence the first edition’s title ‘Frustration’ reflecting the AR’s conclusion that, “the picture that emerges covers the whole spectrum of despair from inconvenience through exasperation to tragedy and, of course, farce.” (The Architectural Review, September 1969)

Manplan was a departure from AR’s norm, not least the use of grainy reportage photography shot on 35mm cameras by leading photojournalists commissioned by the AR. The design was characterised by the use of full-page images, multi-page spreads, guest editors, bold titles, Rockwell typeface forming a ribbon of text from page to page and by being printed using a matt black ink. In particular for Manplan 1 Ward’s photographs were punctuated by black pages framing only the smallest of images.

Although the AR had long championed better town planning through the ‘Townscape’ campaign or highlighted blights on the landscape in ‘Outrage’, Manplan’s brave assessment was nevertheless a shock and a critical broadside on the architectural profession, some of whom protested by cancelling their subscription. Striking both by its design and by its depictions of buildings being populated and used by people, Manplan was to a degree controversial yet highlighted and explored many issues which remain acutely pertinent today.

Also see: more images of Manplan 1: Frustration

Return to the Manplan Landing Page

 

Manplan 1: Frustration

Publication date: September 1969

Series editor: Tom Rock

Guest photographer: Patrick Ward

 

Article by Jonathan Makepeace

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108594 items
RIBA3829Shopping centre, Pepys Estate, Deptford, London

 
RIBA3830Children's playground, Pepys Estate, Deptford, London

 
RIBA3832Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire: the nave of the church


RIBA3833Head office for insurance firm Willis Faber and Dumas Limited, Ipswich, Suffolk

 
RIBA3834Royal English Opera House, now the Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus, London

 
RIBA3835City Bank, 45-47 Ludgate Hill, City of London


RIBA3838Model of the final revised design for the National Gallery Extension, Hampton site, Trafalgar Square, London

 
RIBA3839Model of the final revised design for the National Gallery Extension, Hampton site, Trafalgar Square, London

 
RIBA3840View of Potsdam


RIBA3841Lincoln Cathedral: the Angel Choir

 
RIBA3843St Paul's Cathedral, City of London, seen from the steeple of St Martin Ludgate

 
RIBA3844Selfridges department store, Bull Ring, Birmingham: the store juxtaposed with the tower of St Martin's Church


RIBA3845Pompidou Centre (Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges-Pompidou), Paris

 
RIBA3846W D and H O Wills tobacco factory, Hartcliffe, Bristol

 
RIBA3847Winter House, 81 Swain's Lane, Highgate, London


RIBA3848Richard J Daley Center, formerly the Civic Center, Chicago: steel column oxydidizing

 
RIBA3849Richard J Daley Center, formerly the Civic Center, Chicago: steel column oxydidizing

 
RIBA3850Castle Howard, North Yorkshire: the south front seen from the south-east


RIBA3851German Pavilion, Barcelona

 
RIBA3852Dartmoor

 
RIBA3853Housing nearing completion at the Aylesbury Estate, Walworth, Southwark, London


RIBA3854W D and H O Wills tobacco factory, Hartcliffe, Bristol: head office

 
RIBA3855Campanile of San Marco, Venice

 
RIBA3857Duomo and campanile (Leaning Tower), Campo dei Miracoli, Pisa, seen from the south-west


RIBA3861San Marco and Campanile, Venice

 
RIBA3862Tribune Tower, Chicago

 
RIBA3863Empire State Building, 350 5th Avenue, New York


RIBA3865Pioneer Health Centre, St Mary's Road, Peckham, London: row of shower units that lead to the swimming pool

 
RIBA3867Ralph Erskine

 
RIBA3868Borgafjall Ski Hotel: multi-level public spaces


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